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Full text of "The manufacture and properties of iron and steel"

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436                                      THE IRON INDUSTRY.
had been true, then undoubtedly the tariff would have been a tax, but, unfortunately for the reputation of the said President, the statement was not true, as he might easily have found and should have found by the most casual inspection of the regular trade papers. In the case of steel rails, for example, the price in the United States is not equal to the foreign price plus the tariff, and has not been for fifteen years, while there have been many times when they were sold here much cheaper than they could be bought at European works.
Such free trade nonsense is matched by many protectionist pamphlets declaring that high tariffs mean high prices and high wages, when on the one hand we have seen the United States selling steel cheaper than any other country in the world, and we may see Austria and France, both high tariff nations, paying starvation wages to their work-people, and using women in great numbers as laborers in the roughest kinds of work.
The following conclusions may be wrong, but I trust they are not fanatical or entirely unfounded:
(1)   A high tariff on a certain article hastens very much the establishment of factories to produce that article.
(2)   The establishment of a new industry like making steel, cotton or woolen goods, carpets, etc., etc., requires at least ten years before all the social and industrial conditions have become so correlated that the cost of production reaches an economical footing.
(3)  During this period the general public pays a somewhat higher price for this article, the excess depending on the amount of protection and the amount of domestic competition.
(4)  In some cases and in industries not requiring very large investments of capital or the creation of communities of special workmen, this period during which the public is so taxed may be very short, and the price may soon drop even below that paid to foreign manufacturers.
(5)   If the profits to the protected manufacturer are large, new works will be erected, and if these combine to extort an unreasonable profit, still other works will be built, the end being the same in any event in that the needs will be met and internal competition ultimately bring about a price representing in the long run not much over a fair profit.
(6)   Whether this price, the cost plus a fair profit, is or is not